Of the myriad proposed solutions to physician shortages, an expanded scope of practice for non-physician providers can be swiftly implemented by policymakers eager for a quick fix. Unfortunately, quick fixes usually involve shoddy workmanship and, as applied to the provision of health care, shoddy workmanship endangers patient safety.
The 2014 Urology Joint Advocacy Conference (JAC), co-sponsored by the American Association of Clinical Urologists and the American Urological Association, turned out to be an opportune time for urologists visiting Capitol Hill.
As thousands of baby boomers age into Medicare every day and millions of newly insured Americans seek health care, analysts point to expanded utilization of telehealth services as one way to alleviate physician shortages and ensure access to care.
In socioeconomic sessions at urology meetings, e-mail alerts transmitted before critical votes in Congress, or solicitations for political action committee donations, urologists are frequently reminded: “If you’re not at the table, you’ll be on the menu.”
As the year comes to an end, federal lawmakers still have much to address with Obamacare’s problematic launch and time running out to pass a repeal of the fundamentally flawed Medicare sustainable growth rate by the end of the year.
Energized by recent legislative victories from Tallahassee to Olympia, urologists looked to the future as they gathered for the 6th annual AACU State Society Network Advocacy Conference. Taking place just days after the Oct. 1 launch of open enrollment for health insurance exchange plans, the event focused on the role of urologists and their professional associations in a transformed health care delivery system.
The widely unpopular Medicare sustainable growth rate enacted under the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 has threatened cuts to Medicare payments to physicians for years. This year there is hope that a solution to the perennial problem will be enacted into law.